Review #72- Natsu-iro no Sunadokei

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Greetings! Today’s review is of Natsu-iro no Sunadokei, though originally it was suppose to be of Bounen no Xamdou. Due to some scheduling conflict, we switched over to doing this short 2 OVA series and postponing Bounen no Xamdou until later this month. With that out of the way, beware of possible minor spoilers as always.

Now without further ado, let us begin the review!

Summary: Makimura Koutarou has made up his mind: during the summer vacation, he is going to confess his love to the seemingly unapproachable Serizawa Kaho. Yet, on the night before, he has a run-in with a strange girl – an encounter which propels him into the future. There, he learns that not only has Kaho-chan become his girlfriend, but she has also died in a tragic accident. Returning to his own time, Koutarou sets out to change the future and save his love. -MyAnimeList

Plot: 4/10

Simply put,  Natsu-iro no Sunadokei has an extremely messy plot. The main premise of the anime in Koutarou jumping through time. Time travel is very tricky to use, and Natsu-iro no Sunadokei’s use of it just leaves the anime feeling cluttered. Being based on a visual novel, the anime attempts to introduce all the heroines in some form or another through the plot (as with most visual novel adaptions).  Natsu-iro no Sunadokei does avoid the meet and greet feel, which is a positive. Overall, the anime is just messy and the short run time limits what it can do. It also does not particularly standout from the hordes of similar anime and much of the drama that drives the plot seems very forced.

Character: 5/10

As stated before, the main goal of the anime is to introduce all the heroines. However, with a run time so short it really glosses over what might’ve been some really interesting characters and does very little to properly develop any characters in general. One surprising thing was that the male protagonist Koutarou was more self autonomous than most male protagonists in harem anime (which is not saying much).

Animation: 7/10

The animation is definitely older in style and takes some getting used to. There are plenty of the classic anime gags with the characters becoming more cartoonish in their reactions. However, the animation did not age particularly well.

Soundtrack: 7/10

The soundtrack is surprisingly beautiful for the series. It definitely aims to enhance the emotional moments, but due to the nature of the show, these effect are easily lost.

Themes: 5/10

The themes of this anime are very cliche at best. The easiest to pick out are things like the flexibility of fate (common for time travel stories), the power of love, and so on. Most themes are tied to a particular heroine, such as determination being linked to Mana Kawamura. This is the extent of the thematic depth of the anime, however.

Final Score: 5.6/10

Final Grade: F

B-Ro’s Take

Natsu-iro no Sunadokei was a poorly done OVA series. The biggest problem with this series was that it was a two episode series that tried to be character based. This obviously did not work. This made the character really poorly built. The main love interest got very little screen time making it hard to see why there was any connection between the two characters. Also all of the interactions seemed very forced. The plot also did not flow well because of the weak characters. The plot was also a time travel based plot which is already hard to pull off, so it just did not work well at all. The animation was not the best quality either, it took some getting used to and by the time you do it is over. There was only one good thing about this anime, it is only two episodes long. Honestly though it probably could have been better if it was longer, so the shortness is both a blessing and a curse. Out of 10 I would give this anime a 3. It is honestly not worth watching even though it is short. – B-Ro

LowKev’s Take

Natsu-iro no Sunadokei is simultaneously easy to review and difficult to judge. It’s easy in that it’s only 2 episodes and its flaws are rather obvious, and it’s difficult in that there is so little to this OVA, that I’m not sure if it can properly represent the visual novel it’s based on. It’s not an offensive garbage fire, but it’s still kind of a mess. They definitely do a good job at simulating the time leaping phenomenon the main character goes through. The show really does hop all over the place with little to no opportunity to get used to things or get emotionally invested. Seriously, it feels like massive chunks in the show are missing. The father thing, the diver that showed up and left, most of the character development/backstory in fact, the Pinocchio thing, and more. This is a good example of time travel making the plot a mess…. with inconsistencies and eye rolling moments throughout. I was honestly baffled with how they handled this concept at times. There’s a half decent series or movie (or video game apparently) concept here. It’s just such a mess in its execution. The presentation of the show is at least okay though. The character models aren’t the best, but I liked the animation for the most part, and the music was pretty good. It was cool to see Under17 from the DearS opening do the closer (even though the opening horn line sounds eerily familiar to an old song, I believe “We are Family”?). All in all, I guess this OVA did end up doing its job to an extent. I am admittedly curious to check out the VN, since the general concept of this show does have some potential to me. Though I guess I’d need a Japanese PS2 (unless there’s a Dreamcast port).

Final Comments: For an anime that had the goal to introduce likable heroines, Natsu-iro no Sunadokei fails because it leaves the plot in disarray with time travel and lacking character exploration.

Thank you for reading our review! Have you seen Natsu-iro no Sunadokei? What is your opinion of the anime? Be sure to comment below! Finally, our next review will definitely be the previous promised Bounen no Xamdou.

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